Simon Clegg has thanked departing Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane for his “efforts, dedication, support and professionalism”.

The Blues chief executive said Keane's contract has been terminated with immediate effect after a woeful run of form left them 19th in the npower Championship.

But he “refused to fuel” speculation about the Irishman's successor – with former Wigan boss Paul Jewell the firm favourite to take over at Portman Road.

“It's a sad day for Ipswich Town Football Club and also for me, on a personal and professional level,” said Clegg.

“I'd like to thank Roy Keane for his efforts, dedication, support and professionalism over the past 20 months and for the dignified way he has handled this difficult situation.

“His reaction to the news was as I would have hoped and expected from a man I've got to know over the last two years.

“It was one of disappointment and sadness, coupled with an acknowledgement of the opportunity he was given and the support he received.

“In the best traditions of this great club, we wanted to give him every opportunity to get things right.

“However, as he's said himself on a number of occasions, the performances on the pitch have simply not been good enough.

“Despite investment in the playing staff, there has been no improvement on the pitch and the results speak for themselves.

“We all carry a degree of responsibility for this failure and I include myself in this, but I'm absolutely convinced that with the right man in charge we will be able to achieve the objective and goals we've set for this club.

“Ultimately, though, results have to rest on the shoulders of the manager and, as Roy has frequently said himself, the table doesn't lie.”

Clegg hopes to make an announcement regarding the new manager in the next few days, probably before Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal.

“I hope to be in a position to make an announcement about the new manager over the coming days,” he said.

“We've taken the decision now having reached the halfway point of the season.

“We now have a real and meaningful opportunity to achieve our objectives of climbing the table.

“While we recognise that we're only three points above the relegation zone, we're looking up and not down and we're still looking at the play-off zone.”

Clegg visited the training ground this morning to tell the players and coach Ian McParland will act as caretaker manager for Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Chelsea.